Home / Zhongguancun Special

Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map

By Zhang Yu | China Daily | Updated: 2014-11-10 09:52

City will host snow-related events if it wins joint bid for 2022 Winter Olympic Games with Beijing

Zhangjiakou in Hebei province launched a joint bid with Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and they are now competing with Almaty in Kazakhstan in the final round of the selection process.

The International Olympic Committee will announce the winner in July next year.

Should the Chinese bid win, Zhangjiakou will host most of the snow-related events.

Zhangjiakou's Chongli county, where most of the snow events will take place, has an average annual snow thickness of 1 meter.

It begins to snow in late October and the season lasts through to the following April. The skiing period meets the international standard for the Winter Olympics.

Besides, artificial snow is available if there is insufficient natural snow.

The county's average temperature in winter is -12 C, which also meets the requirement for the Winter Olympics.

Chongli began developing ski sports in 1996. In the summer of that year, Shan Zhaojian, the first national skiing champion of China, came to Chongli looking for a place where skiing races and other skiing activities could be held. His visit changed the fate of Chongli.

In the following years, the county gradually constructed four world-renowned ski resorts: Wanlong, Genting, Dolomiti, and Changchengling.

The county will hold the Winter Olympic events if the bid succeeds. These include ski jumping, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, biathlon and cross-country skiing.

At present, the county has a total of 82 trails for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. All the trails meet the international standard for sports events, and eight of them have gained recognition from the International Ski Federation.

According to a blueprint for developing snow-related industry, the county will have 228 ski trails by 2020.

Relying on these resorts, Chongli county has successfully hosted ski festivals for 13 consecutive years, attracting participants from all over the world.

The county has also held about a dozen international level skiing competitions, which have helped it gain rich experience in this field.

Other supporting facilities such as hotels and restaurants will be expanded near the resorts in the future. By 2020, the daily reception capacity of the county is expected to reach more than 20,000 people.

An area of 3.5 square kilometers is reserved for future exploitation, in case the Winter Olympics needs more infrastructure.

Shan Zhaojian says he chose Chongli not only because it is close to Beijing and there is an expressway linking the two places, but also because the topography of Chongli is suitable for skiing.

"And because it boasts a large forest area which contributes to a good ecological environment," Shan adds.

In September, Zhangjiakou was officially given the title of "National Forest City" by the National Afforestation Committee and the State Forestry Administration. The title is the highest honor in China for a city's ecological environment.

Healthy environment

Zhangjiakou is well-known for its blue sky, green land, clean water and beautiful mountains.

Its clean environment and rich natural resources have helped win the city recognition as one of China's top cities for its quality of life.

And in the past five years, the city has invested 2.27 billion yuan ($369 million) on efforts to further improve its ecology and environment.

According to an air quality report published by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Zhangjiakou enjoyed the most fresh air last year among all the northern cities in the country.

The concentration of PM2.5 in the city was the lowest among 13 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. And the city's air quality even ranks the first among the 37 monitored cities of to the north of Yangtze River.

In summer, the average temperature in Zhangjiakou is 19 C. The moderate temperature and fresh air make the city a "natural oxygen bar" with high levels of oxygen negative ions.

Zhangjiakou has also invited the Beijing Environment Sanitation Engineering Group Co Ltd to administrate and monitor the sanitary environment in these areas from 2015, as the disposal of waste must conform to the same requirements as those for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

Flourishing ski industry

Even as late as the 1990s, Chongli was a poor county. The per capita annual income of local farmers was less than 1,000 yuan.

However, the flourishing of the skiing industry has enabled the county to prosper.

In 2013, the per capita annual income of farmers in Chongli was up to 6,071 yuan. Statistics show that nearly 20,000 residents, one-sixth of the total population in the county, are engaged in skiing-related industries.

"I have worked in this county for 11 years. In the past decade, I have witnessed great changes here." said Wei Qinghua, a senior consultant about skiing from Zhangjiakou Operation, the 2022 Winter Olympic Games Bid Committee.

According to Wei, residents in Zhangjiakou used to stay in their homes during winter. But now most of them don't do that anymore.

Many have become ski instructors in the city's different skiing resorts. For some, their income can be more than 40,000 yuan for instructing in a winter.

Now the county is hailed as one of the best places in China for developing ski tourism.

According to experts from the State General Administration of Sports and the Chinese Ski Association, more than 600 square kilometers in Chongli county are available for developing ski tourism and ski racing.

And more than 10 sites are suitable for building ski resorts.

In 2013, the revenue from tourism in Chongli county reached 1.1 billion yuan, an increase of 31.4 percent year-on-year.

Work began this year on an express railway linking the city with Beijing, which will shorten the journey time from 5 hours to 50 minutes. This will boost the attraction of Zhangjiakou as a tourist destination.

Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map

Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map

 Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map

Zhangjiakou, a city in Hebei province, boasts many world-class ski resorts like this one in Chongli county. The city, about 200 km from Beijing, is well-known for its beautiful mountains. Lyu Furong / for China Daily

 Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map

Zhangjiakou has 82 trails ski resorts to meet the demand of both amateurs and professionals. Li Dengyun / for China Daily

Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map 

Hiking and camping are very popular for tourists to Zhangjiakou. Yang Yueluan / for China Daily

Skiing puts Zhangjiakou on the map 
An aerial view of Zhangjiakou at night. Han Jianfeng / for China Daily

(China Daily 11/10/2014 page28)

Today's Top News

Editor's picks

Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349